Every Catholic faithful to the one true Church knows that Saint Peter was the first pope. As we see in Matthew 16:18, Jesus Christ founded His Church upon Peter, making him the first Vicar of Jesus Christ and establishing the papacy. With his ordination as the first pope, the papal line of succession was also established. While we know that Peter was the first, who was the second pope?

And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. – Matthew 16:18

The earliest account shows that Pope Saint Linus was the second pope and successor to the Prince of the Apostles. In a passage from the book Adversus Haereses written by Saint Irenaeus around the year 180, it is claimed that Pope Linus is the direct successor to Peter, the same Linus mentioned by Saint Paul in his second epistle to Timothy 4:21. The passage reads:

After the Holy Apostles (Peter and Paul) had founded and set the Church in order (in Rome) they gave over the exercise of the episcopal office to Linus. The same Linus is mentioned by St. Paul in his Epistle to Timothy. His successor was Anacletus.

According to the Liber Pontificalis, Linus was Italian, born in Tuscany. His father’s name was recorded as Herculanus, and his mother’s name recorded as Claudia (The same Claudia that is mentioned immediately after Linus in 2 Timothy 4:21). His papacy began the year 67 and ended the year 76.

Try to get here before winter. Eubulus, Pudens, Linus, Claudia, and all the brothers send greetings. – 2 Timothy 4:21

The papacy of Pope Linus existed during a period of great religious persecution in Rome, where it was very dangerous to be Catholic. After a fire broke out in Rome that left several districts of the city destroyed, the Emperor Nero blamed members of the newly formed Church to deflect theories that he set the city ablaze for new construction. He punished the early faithful by feeding them to lions, burning them at the stake, and through crucifixion.

The Liber Pontificalis also asserts that after his death, he was buried next to Saint Peter in the Vatican. A tomb was found at the St. Peters Basilica in 1605 bearing the letters LINVS, but was later found to be part of a longer name, perhaps Aquilinus. Today, the feast of Pope Saint Linus is celebrated on September 23rd.

Photo credit: © Raimond Spekking / CC BY-SA 4.0 (via Wikimedia Commons)


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    • There is an awesome place called popes3@flocknote.com. He sends a message to your phone every weekday with a short bio on each pope in order. It takes a year to get through them all but it only takes a few minutes and he has a great at sense of humor too.

      • Even the demons know the truth… that only ordained priests have the Authority given to them by Jesus himself. Why is it that satanists steal the holy eucharist from a CATHOLIC tabernacle?
        They know that in order to desecrate the REAL body of Jesus, it must be done to a CATHOLIC communion host. They don’t waste their time in stealing Wonder bread wafers from a Protestant church …isn’t that so? Ever notice that no one ever says..”hey, he needs an exorcism, call a Baptist minister”

    • Christianity is the religion………..Catholicism is Christ’s CHURCH. Your ignorance would be easily negated, by some research. Ever heard of “Google”?

    • What is dangerous is making a comment of that nature without trying to do a real research to know the truth behind the Christianity and the Catholic Church. God Bless you Brother.

    • the early Christians were all CAtholics. THe name came from st. Ignatius of antioch, a successor of st. Peter, who wrote the term to describe the CHristians. THe word CAtholic from the GReek word meaning “universal”.

    • At that period in history, the term catholic (little c) meant “Universal” and was identifying all Christiandom. The “great schism” which would create the first formal division in Christianity would not occur until the year 1054AD. Minor divisions existed as early as the late second century but never caused a complete severance from one another in fellowship and communal identification. Therefore, to use the term “catholic” prior to this point is to be synonymous with “Christian” in this same period.

    • Where in the Bible does it say Bible only? Learn your history. Yes, in Acts they were called Christians. About the year 89 to 107AD they were called Catholic (universal) because Jesus wanted the same message shared with all nations and no schisms. It’s all part of early church history.

  1. By the way just to add to my brothers in Christ who have commented here. The word catholic is derived from greek. This means the universal church, which was formed by Jesus himself. Not by calvin Martin Luther or any other.

  2. True there is no Catholics at that time because there was no other churches only the church under the Pope who comes after st. Peter. No Protestant church was existed

  3. The earliest recorded evidence of the use of the term “Catholic Church” is the Letter to the Smyrnaeans that Ignatius of Antioch wrote in about 107 to Christians in Smyrna.

    • And St Ignatius wrote Catholic like it was known what it meant. It was already in use. So it’s reasonable to say that it started being used at an earlier time.

  4. The truth remained, without the Catholic church even the history of Christ would have been very difficult to trace, thanks to the apostles and the early father’s.

  5. “it was dangerous to be Catholic” – at that period of time those who believe in Christ was known as “the way”. The word Christian was first known in Antioch when Paul preached there. The word Catholic is being used after the split of power between Rome and the Eastern churches. Please correct if I am wrong.

  6. Ok then, what is Christian about Romanism in it? Is Roman Catholic Christian? A lot of traditions and rituals were introduced which took it off the track


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